Молодое поколениеи новые методы преподавания иностранного языка
THE YOUNG GENERATION AND NEW WAYS OF TEACHING
PhD, teacher of the Department “Foreign Languages of Professional Communication”
Vladimir State University
According to recent research, teachers working with children at school or students at college and university know that learners today think and behave differently than those of previous generations. The conflict between different generations forces teachers and employers to search for new methods of working with today's youth. The older generation often has to overcome stereotypes and learn to teach and work in a new way.
Nowadays it’s more obvious that the traditional ways of motivating learners are not suitable for the current generation of students. Classes and work are by far not the only activities in their life. What should be done in this situation – re-educate youth or their teachers?
Most of today’s students were born in the period from 1980 till 2000, and are therefore referred to as "Millennials," "Net Gen" or "Generation Y." Its representatives are confident and technologically advanced. They grew up surrounded by IT technology. Young people are most interested in the internet and communicating with their peers and they prefer activities with a variety of tasks to boring and monotonous learning. Subsequently, teachers have to adapt their teaching strategies to the needs and interests of these students. Therefore, educators should search for innovative strategies to engage Generation Y in the classroom .
The older generation is surprised that these young people do not respect authority and state their opinion about every subject. For example, students frequently dispute accepted methods of teaching and approved educational procedures. Members of Generation Y got used to never going without anything, their parents could provide their children with many things, and, as a result, they are self-confident and have an elevated sense of self. Thus, it is impossible to motivate them by using fear; instead, opportunities must be provided to them.
It should be noted that they are under the influence of social networks which create space for them in which everything that others do is available and known. Consequently, people prefer to represent themselves in a positive light to show off to others and prove how successful they are. It is not a secret that this distorted reality leaves young people with the incorrect feeling that everyone around them is more successful and causes them to experience envy, disappointment, irritation and doubt in their own possibilities. Thus, virtual socialization interferes with their socialization in the real world. Members of Generation Y prefer to trust the internet and social networks, but not real life. Due to young people's susceptibility to numerous outside influences, they experience frequent changes in mood and attitude.
Employers' responses confirm that young employees are ready to participate in difficult projects, as they like to solve interesting and creative problems in which there is something more important for them than earning money . On the other hand, these youth are impractical and badly adapted to the world around them. Because of the fact that they often cannot properly present their talents and skills, they need an experienced tutor to help them do this.
Global information space gives today's youth the chance to realize their ambitions. The ability to easily use technology considerably increases youth's competitive edge over that of senior employees and, as a result, their self-assessment also improves. Young people are ready to participate in projects connected with the internet because they think it provides the fastest way to successfully gain innovation in work and develop the freedom of creativity .
However, it is now understood that dependence on the internet, video games and gadgets is truly a global problem of the modern generation. The teacher’s role is very important and necessary in convincing the young generation how to move from the online world to the real one.
How can teachers help young people to effectively organize their studies? They should focus students’ attention on formulating and understanding their own educational requirements. There is no doubt that this will change their approach to studying because young people will realize it is necessary for them to be more responsible and find something interesting for themselves in the educational process. Moreover, students begin to understand the main educational purpose of studying, which is to become well-educated professionals and receive a good job.
Not surprisingly, the majority of learners aren't interested in education. Therefore, they themselves can make the educational process challenging and fascinating for teachers. Most likely, this difficulty can be overcome by using technology, which youth find so fascinating. It is necessary to include Internet-based activities in class or for homework. Teachers should use videos, Power Point presentations, pictures, diagrams, online programs and courses, and interactive activities. Playing games in class is also a useful activity with these learners. It is also possible to do quizzes, intellectual games, and role plays with them, as they are visual activities and involve learning by doing. Without a doubt, young people perceive visual information better than they do information in old-fashioned, boring textbooks. Similarly, teachers need to change as well - not only in how they teach, but also in the way they give timely and objective feedback, how they project a positive spirit in the classroom, and how they motivate learners to be creative. It must be emphasized that each teacher’s unique personality enables him/her to effectively apply these innovative techniques, which can be ultimately connected to those of each individual student.
Another aspect to consider is that learning more about their own generation helps young people to understand themselves better and even to reconsider their own attitude. They can take a detached view of themselves, evaluate their acts and thoughts, discover their weaknesses and strengths, and decide on the necessary changes that they want to make. They also begin to look at the world constructively and change their own dreams and plans. Moreover, the eternal generation gap becomes more evident to them. Young people then begin to compare themselves to their peers and older and younger generations. Ultimately, this helps to change a young person’s outlook about themselves and others.
Young people nowadays can have unreal desires that are more similar to dreams. By using active learning methods teachers develop students' creative motivation and interaction, and help them to evaluate their opportunities and set corresponding goals. Thus, the young generation should aspire to gain knowledge and feel happy by appreciating their small victories, which, undoubtedly, will produce big results. This is the main value in the new way of teaching today's youth.